Andaman police arrested a man after he tried to exploit the Jarawa tribe members by offering alcohol in exchange of wild boar, turtle and venison for meat. The administration now fears spread of the novel coronavirus due to outsider's intrusion into the reserve area.
Identified as Sanjit Mondal, the accused is a resident of Bamboo Tikrey, Middle Andaman, has been booked under various acts including PAT regulation and Disaster Management Act.
The incident sent ripples across the local administration as the intrusion of an outsider amid pandemic into Jarawa Reserve area can trigger panic. It was considered highly disastrous considering the safety and security of tribes in the archipelago. However, the tribal welfare department has already taken various precautionary measures to ensure the safety of indigenous tribes.
The six tribes exist across the Andaman and Nicobar Islands- Great Andamanese, Jarawas, Onge, Shompen, Nicobarese and the Sentinelese are at heightened risk of the deadly virus as they do not have contact with the outside world.
The intrusion into the Jarawa Reserve area came in limelight after a dinghy went missing from Kadamtala area and the owner lodged a complaint at the Kadamtala police station.
“During the investigation, the local police sought help from the Andaman Adim Janjati Vikas Samiti (AAJVS) suspecting that the accused had stolen the dinghy to enter the Jarawa Reserve area. However the man has been arrested while following the necessary COVID-19 formalities,” said Director General of Police, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dependra Pathak.
During the preliminary investigation, the police found that Sanjit Mandal from Bamboo Tikrey entered the protected Jarawa Reserve to get wild boar, turtle and venison in exchange for alcohol.
“While we were questioning him, he suddenly fled inside the deep forest. However, he was later arrested and we came to know that he is a habitual offender and repeatedly enters the Jarawa Reserve area to get the meat,” a police officer said.